Robert Doran is Professor of French and Comparative Literature and an Affiliate Faculty member of the Music Theory Department of the Eastman School of Music. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and a PhD in General and Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle-University of Paris 3.
He is the author or editor of eight books, including the monographs The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 2015/2017), which was translated into Spanish in 2021, and The Ethics of Theory: Philosophy, History, Literature (Bloomsbury, 2017). Most recently, he has edited Liszt and Virtuosity (University of Rochester Press, 2020) and two volumes of Hayden White’s late essays under the title The Ethics of Narrative for Cornell University Press (vol. 1, 2022; vol. 2, forthcoming 2023). His current book projects are Revolutionary Aesthetics: The Sublime in Nineteenth-Century France and Shakespeare in Paris: Reinventing Nineteenth-Century French Theater.
His teaching focuses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French literature and culture, in particular on the novel, romanticism, theater, Napoleon, and Paris. He also regularly teaches courses on continental philosophy, aesthetics, and twentieth-century French thought.
|"New book explores ‘ethical turn’ of critical theory"|
- UR Newscenter article, 12/20/17
- Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature and culture
- the novel
- continental philosophy
- literary theory
- intellectual history
- European cinema
Courses Offered (subject to change)
- CLTR 200: Topics in Critical Thinking: The Antihero (Spring 2022)
- CLTR 389: Major Seminar (Fall 2017)
- FREN 157: French in France (Summer 2018)
- FREN 202: Introduction to Literature in French (Spring 2018)
- FREN 207: French in France (Summer 2018)
- FREN 229: Existentialism (Fall 2019)
- FREN 230: French Social Thought (Fall 2018)
- FREN 232: Hugo's "Les Misérables" (Spring 2015)
- FREN 233: Realists and Romantics (Fall 2015)
- FREN 245: Revolution and Romanticism (Fall 2018)
- FREN 246: Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo" (Fall 2017)
- FREN 254: Camus and Sartre (Fall 2014)
- FREN 255: Sartre and Heidegger (Fall 2016)
- FREN 259: Les Philosophes & the French Enlightenment (Fall 2019)
- FREN 262: French Philosophy Since 1960 (Spring 2014)
- FREN 265: Aesthetics (Spring 2018)
- FREN 266: Balzac and Baudelaire in Paris (Fall 2013)
- FREN 267: Baudelaire: Poetry and Modernity (Fall 2016)
- FREN 268: Jean Renoir and Cinema (Spring 2017)
- FREN 269: Foucault and the Ethics of Theory (Spring 2017)
- FREN 281: French Cinema: 1930-1960 (Fall 2014)
- FREN 289: Philosophy of Art (Fall 2015)
- The Ethics of Theory: Philosophy, History, Literature. Bloomsbury, 2016.
- The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant. Cambridge UP, 2015. [Spanish Translation: La teoría de lo sublime de Longino a Kant. Trans. Luisa Fernanda Lassaque. Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros, 2021.]
- Editor. The Ethics of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, Volume II, 2007-2017. By Hayden White. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2023.
- Editor. The Ethics of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, Volume I, 1998-2007. By Hayden White. Foreword by Judith Butler. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2022.
- Editor. Liszt and Virtuosity. University of Rochester Press, 2020.
- Editor. Philosophy of History After Hayden White. Bloomsbury, 2013. Bloomsbury Studies in American Philosophy.
- Editor. The Fiction of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, 1957-2007. By Hayden White, Johns Hopkins UP, 2010. [Spanish Translation: La ficción de la narrativa: Ensayos sobre historia, literatura y teoría, 1957-2007. Translated by María Julia de Ruschi, Eterna Cadencia, 2011. Chinese Translation by Lili Ma and Yun Ma. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 2013/2019.]
- Editor. Mimesis and Theory: Essays on Literature and Criticism, 1953-2005. By René Girard, Stanford UP, 2008. Cultural Memory in the Present.
- Editor. Rethinking Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009). Spec. issue of Yale French Studies, no. 123, 2013. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/i23643867.
- Editor. Cultural Theory After 9/11: Terror, Religion, Media. Spec. issue of SubStance, vol. 37, no. 1, 2008. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/i25195151.
Recent Articles and Book Chapters
- “The Sublime and French Romanticism,” commissioned for The Oxford Handbook of the Sublime, ed. Emily Brady, Patrick Cheney, and Philip Hardie (Oxford: Oxford University Press), forthcoming 2025.
- “The Tradition of the Sublime in Early Modern Europe,” The Cambridge History of Rhetoric, Vol. 4: Rhetoric from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Dietmar Til and Adam Potka (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), forthcoming 2024.
- “Hayden White, Interpretation, and the Ethics of Narrative,” Editor’s introduction to Hayden White, The Ethics of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, Volume II, 2007-2017. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2023.
- “Hayden White, History, and the Ethics of Narrative,” Editor’s introduction to Hayden White, The Ethics of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, Volume I, 1998-2007. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2022, xxi-xxxix.
- “Existentialism as World Literature: De Beauvoir, Heidegger, and Tolstoy,” in Philosophy as World Literature, ed. Jeffrey R. Di Leo (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), 233-246.
- Chinese only: “Hayden White and the Ethics of Truth,” trans. Zhang Zuocheng, The World History Review, forthcoming, 2020.
- “From the Brilliant Style to the Bravura Style: Reconceptualizing Lisztian Virtuosity,” in Liszt and Virtuosity, ed. Robert Doran (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2020), 267-307.
- “Virtuosity and Liszt,” Editor’s introduction to Liszt and Virtuosity, ed. Robert Doran (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2020), 1-38.
- “The History and Fulfillment of Western Rationality: Martin Jay’s The Eclipse of Reason”: Journal of the Philosophy of History 14.1 (2020): 93-103.
- “Writing in the Shadow of Sartre’s Genet: Derrida’s Glas and the Ethics of Biography,” in Understanding Derrida, Understanding Modernism, ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté (London: Bloomsbury, 2019): 208-225.
- "Kant and the Theory of the Sublime: A Response to Paul Guyer." Nature and Freedom: Proceedings of the XII. International Kant Congress, ed. Violetta L. Waibel and Margit Ruffing (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2018): 3007-3013.
- “Meta-história e a ética da historiographia” in Do passado histórico ao passado pactico: 40 anos de Meta-história, trans. Hugo Ricardo Merlo, ed. Verónica Tozzi and Julio Bentivoglio (Serra: Editora Milfontes, 2017): 245-261. [Portuguese translation of “Metahistory and the Ethics of Historiography”]
- “Metahistoria y la ética de la historiografía,” in Hayden White: cuarenta años de Metahistoria: Del “pasado histórico” al “pasado práctico” ed. Verónica Tozzi and Julio Bentivoglio (Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros, 2016): 189-200. [Spanish translation of “Metahistory and the Ethics of Historiography”]
- "Metahistory and the Ethics of Historiography." Metahistory Forty Years After, edited by Claudio Fogu and Kalle Pihlainen. Spec. issue of Storia della Storiografia, 65.1 (2014): 153-62.
- "Imitation and Originality: Thinking Creative Mimesis in Longinus, Kant, and Girard." René Girard and Creative Mimesis, edited by Vern Neufeld Redekop and Thomas Ryba, Lexington-Rowman and Littlefield, 2014, pp. 111-22.
- "Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason and the Debate with Lévi-Strauss." Rethinking Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), edited by Robert Doran. Spec. issue of Yale French Studies, no. 123, 2013, pp. 41-62. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23645874.
- "Choosing the Past: Hayden White and the Philosophy of History." Philosophy of History After Hayden White, edited by Robert Doran, Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. 1-33. Bloomsbury Studies in American Philosophy.
- "The Work of Hayden White I: Mimesis, Figuration, and the Writing of History." The SAGE Handbook of Historical Theory, edited by Nancy Partner and Sarah Foot, SAGE, 2013, pp. 106-18.
- "Mimesis and Aesthetic Redemption." Rethinking Mimesis: Concepts and Practices of Literary Representation, edited by Saija Isomaa, et al., Cambridge Scholars, 2012, pp. 203-27.
- "René Girard's Concept of Conversion and the Via Negativa: Revisiting Deceit, Desire, and the Novel." Religion and Literature, vol. 43, vol. 3, Autumn 2011, 170-79. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23347096.
- "René Girard's Apocalyptic Modernity." Sagrado e Modernidade. Spec. issue of Comunicação e Cultura, no. 11, 2011, 37-52.
- "Ambiguity in Jean Renoir’s La Règle du jeu." Contemporary French Civilization, vol. 34, no. 2, 2010, 167-90. Liverpool UP Online, doi:10.3828/cfc.2010.18.
- "Introduction: Humanism, Formalism, and the Discourse of History." The Fiction of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, 1957-2007, by Hayden White, edited by Robert Doran, Johns Hopkins UP, 2010, pp. xiii-xxxii.
- "Erich Auerbach’s Humanism and the Criticism of the Future." Erich Auerbach, edited by Mario Domenichelli and Maria Luisa Meneghetti. Spec. issue of Moderna: Semestrale di teoria e critica della letteratura, vol. 11, no. 1-2, 2009, pp. 99-108.
- "Logique et Sublimité: Dupuy et Vertigo de Hitchcock." De l’auto-organisation au temps du projet. Autour de Jean-Pierre Dupuy – Colloque de Cerisy, Carnets Nord, 2009, pp. 1-17.
- "Introduction: Terrorism and Cultural Theory: The Singularity of 9/11." Cultural Theory After 9/11: Terror, Religion, Media, edited by Robert Doran. Spec. issue of SubStance, vol. 37, no. 1, 2008, pp. 3-19. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25195153.
- "Literature as Theory." Introduction. Mimesis and Theory: Essays on Literature and Criticism, 1953-2005, by René Girard, edited by Robert Doran, Stanford UP, 2008, pp. xi-xxvi.
- "Literary History and the Sublime in Erich Auerbach's Mimesis." New Literary History, vol. 38, no. 2, Spring 2007, pp. 353-69. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20058007.
- Translator. "Rupture and Literary Creation in Jean-Paul Sartre ." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 22, Spring 2015, pp. 1-16. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/contagion.22.1.0001.
- Translator. "Living with Others: Reciprocity and Alterity in Lévi-Strauss." By Marcel Hénaff. Rethinking Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), edited by Robert Doran. Spec. issue of Yale French Studies, no. 123, 2013, pp. 63-82. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23645875.
- Translator. "The Future of the Novel ." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 19, 2012, pp. 1-8. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41925330.
Selected Invited Presentations
- “La sérialité selon Sartre et l’aliénation sociale,” Le Collège de France, June 1, 2023.
- "On the Use and Reuse of History: Reading Hayden White's The Practical Past." Is Theory Critical? UCI Critical Theory, 22-23 May 2016, U of California, Irvine.
- "The Ethics of Theory." Inteviewed by Rhys Tranter. RhysTranter.com, 5 May 2017, rhystranter.com/2017/05/05/robert-doran-ethics-of-theory/.
- "An Interview with Robert Doran at the International Kant Congress 2015." YouTube, uploaded by Cambridge Academic Books, 22 Mar. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSu5hYwxjGo and www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cg2g_BYFi8.